Not long after I had moved back to Chicago, my boss approached me with an idea. Business was going well at the sales company where I worked at the time. We were the #1 division in the company for sales that year and he wanted to acknowledge the key role I had played as a part of the division staff by offering to pay for me to see a life coach. The idea was strange to me at first so initially I declined the offer. It sounded a little too trendy and too good to be true. He asked me to think about it though, and consider how it might impact my life if I had someone on the sidelines to coach me. All great athletes have great coaches to keep them improving at their game—why can’t we do the same to keep improving our own lives?
A few months went by and I started reflecting on where I was at in my life. I was overweight by more than 100 pounds. I had thousands of dollars of debt from credit cards, bills, and taxes. I was single and lonely. I wasn’t exactly sure where I was going in life. Though I had good friends, a good job, and success in some areas of my life, all this other baggage kept bringing me down. I would come home feeling empty at night, like something was missing. Eventually, I figured, it couldn’t make things worse to try life coaching—things could only get better. So at the end of 2004 I started seeing a life coach.
Five and a half years later, it has made all the difference. I have created positive changes in all areas of my life. I lost 100 pounds, paid off all the bad debt, found love, and created a career path that I am truly happy with. I don’t want you to think that I am never unhappy or afraid. I still face challenges on a daily basis. The difference is that before I felt trapped and stuck. Today I find peace and confidence knowing that I have the power and ability to face fear and continue moving forward.
So in case you might be looking for any or all of what I have gained over the last several years, I offer five of the most influential principles I have adopted:
Start by focusing on what went right or you did right. Keep a journal, start a blog, write in a notebook, or simply say a list out-loud. What would you say to a friend that needed extra support or his/her spirits lifted? Say THAT to yourself.
Practice saying thank you when others help you or offer a compliment. Try to do this without an excuse, explanation, or return compliment. Just graciously accept and enjoy the feeling. At the end of each day write down 5 things you are grateful for. If things are going that bad, you can start with gratitude for the pen and paper to write the list… you’ll find more things the more you do it.
3. Get Quiet; Get Clear; Visualize
Close your eyes and spend time with the vision of who you want to be and the world that you would like to attract. Notice how you feel and what you hear, see, and even smell. Record your vision in some way. You can write it down, tape record, or draw a picture. You may just start by describing your ideal week.
4. Put Yourself First
YOU are the most important and influential person in your life. You spend more time with YOU than anyone else. You know YOU better than any person. Without YOU, you do not exist. How would you value someone’s time that you respected and held in high regard? Try scheduling your time that way. Don’t be afraid to say no to others, if they demand too much of your time.
5. Accept Where You Are and Move Forward!
Imagine yourself in control of your current situation. Both the good and the bad are there because you decided it would be that way. Play with the idea that you are perfect and experiencing everything perfectly. That is to say, that you are getting exactly what you need out of life right now. It is hard to be a victim with this perspective. This idea will help you to move forward, past fear. It allows you to say “What’s the worse thing that could happen if I just do______? Well, I could live with that, so it’s worth moving forward from here.”